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Thread: Cost of Living a Near-Frugal Life

  1. #1
    maxius42 is offline Member
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    Default Cost of Living a Near-Frugal Life

    Hi All,

    I would like to hear something in this regard...

    As I've seen online, it ranges between $500 to $750 per week. I think, I can make a decent living in that amount isn't it???

    Keep Cool
    Max

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    There's a recent thread discussing the cost of living in NZ, which you may or may not have read already. This topic often crops up so if you do a search for something like 'living' or 'cost' it might bring up some other old threads.
    Mother Bear

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    Kiwi families living on Struggle St
    By BEN FAWKES - The Dominion Post | Thursday, 19 June 2008

    New Zealanders are delaying having children, as increasing living costs, debt and work demands begin to take their toll on family life, a study says.

    A Families Commission report, made public today, says people are delaying having children as increasing numbers of working families struggle to make ends meet.

    The report charts the change in families and conditions since the end of World War II, and shows the standard of family life has dropped dramatically since the post-war baby boom.

    Between 1945 and 1970, the median age of a woman giving birth was 25. In 2007 it was just over 30. The number of births is predicted to decrease during the next 50 years.

    A drop in the buying power of wages means a single family income is no longer enough to keep a family out of poverty, even with state support, the report says.

    More than one in 10 families are unable to manage debt, with single parents, Maori and Pacific Island families most vulnerable.

    The proportion of mothers in fulltime employment had increased and longer working hours for both men and women placed increasing strain on relationships.

    Families were the backbone of society. "If families thrive and both produce and nurture future generations, then the workforce, the economy and the social fabric of New Zealand will also thrive."

    Child Poverty Action Group analyst Donna Wynd said lower socioeconomic families were the most prone to financial hardship and people needed to move on from the idea that child poverty was caused by bad parenting.

    "For low income families the combination of rising food and energy prices, the collapse of credit and housing markets and increasing housing costs is shaping up to be a perfect economic storm."

    Chief Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad said the report raised important questions.

    "Sixty years ago the norm was for dad to work and mum to stay home and raise three, four or more children.

    "If we want to maintain the population and help people to successfully balance their work and family life, then it's important to look at policies that would support parents to have children or to have more children."

    Paid parental leave should be extended and workplaces made more "family friendly".

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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    Following on from the article above, here's another way of looking at it.

    People now expect so much more
    The Dominion Post | Thursday, 19 June 2008

    Raising a family is still hard, but people expect so much more now, retired baker Cliff Turner and his wife Joyce say.

    Mr Turner, who served on a hospital ship during World War II, and his wife said they had to work hard operating their bakery and bringing up their five children in the house they built in Wainuiomata.

    "I don't know that it's harder now than it was for us, it's just different," said Mrs Turner, 82.

    "Our grandchildren go to a creche and they get run around everywhere, but in our day we used to have to walk everywhere and save for things. Now they borrow so much instead of saving what they need."

    A big difference in the 1950s was that there were no drugs around and people did not have to worry so much about crime.

    Mr Turner, 87, said it was hard work running the bakery in Waiwhetu and bringing up the family, but their children had all done well.

    It was probably easier for his children to get by, but they all had problems too.

    Their life is a big contrast to their 32-year-old granddaughter, Kate Brown. They married young and had five children, while she married at 30 and still has not had children. However, she intends to have two.

    She is a police constable in Christchurch and her husband is a mechanic.

    With two incomes and no children, life is not particularly difficult. "We don't have a particularly big mortgage but I had to pay off a student loan," she said. "My grandparents probably went without a lot more than we do. There are so many more things today.

    "We have everything we need without having huge luxuries," said Ms Brown, adding that they had just returned from a holiday in Melbourne, a luxury that was probably unthinkable for her grandparents when they were her age.

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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    I think this is true of a lot of countries now. We certainly see it here.

    Rising costs start to bite
    By LOIS WATSON and SEAN SCANLON - Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 22 June 2008

    The average Kiwi has to work until smoko time each Wednesday just to fuel up the car and buy the groceries.

    Calculations by the Sunday Star-Times show that on the average Kiwi wage of $45,000 a year, a worker needs to toil away for 17 hours a week just to keep their family fed and their car fuelled. That is because food prices have gone up by 11.8 per cent in the past year, while petrol prices have jumped 34 per cent. By contrast, wages for most people have risen by only about 3 per cent.

    An average couple with two dependent children can now expect to spend around $244 a week on groceries, plus another $47 a week on petrol (more if they own a second car or a gas-guzzling 4WD). That's an increase of about $43 on grocery and fuel costs compared with a year ago.

    Wages have not risen at the same rapid rate which means more of their income is being swallowed up by necessities each week.

    Pinga McDermott lives by herself and is on a relatively high wage for a checkout operator-$13.75 an hour but even so she has to work 23 hours a week at Auckland's Royal Oak Pak 'N Save just to pay the $250 she needs for food, rent and petrol. Once other expenses are included she has no money left for savings or any luxuries.

    Last July she started a second job as a hospital caregiver to make ends meet. In a normal week she is at Pak 'N Save for 37 hours and at the hospital for another 15.

    "It's very tiring, but you have to do it for a living," she says.

    Customers at the supermarket are constantly grumbling to her about the increased cost of living: "Every day, all the customers comment on the prices going up, the food prices, the petrol, everything," she says.

    When you do the maths you can see why people are grumbling.

    A senior receptionist earns an average of $38,000 a year. By the time tax is deducted, she takes home just $14.87 an hour. This means she needs to work 19.5 hours a week (2.5 hours more than a year ago) just to meet her family's weekly food and petrol expenses.

    By contrast a senior secondary school teacher, earning an average of $61,000 and paying $15,000 in tax, needs to work 13 hours a week to cover costs two more hours than last year.

    A backbench MP earning $126,000 before tax needs to work about seven hours a week to cover grocery and petrol costs, while high-paying chief executives earning an average of $300,000 need to do just three hours of work a week.

    For most of us, though, the pain shows no signs of abating oil prices rose nearly $US3 a barrel on Friday with international predictions of further hikes. And in Britain, householders squeezed by the credit crunch are being urged to turn to potatoes to keep them healthy, just as an earlier generation did in World War II.

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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    hi Motherbear,
    May I know what's the avg working hour per week in NZ like? From the above post of 17-20+hrs seems like 1/2 day work generally? Would that consider as part-time job?
    A full time job in my country would be 8hrs a day i.e. 40hrs/week which is quite tiring and little family time. Hope that NZ lifestyle wouldn't turn out to be the same...

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    The normal full time working week is 40hrs per week.
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